“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.” ―Paulo Coelho
This is an open letter to anyone who’s ever judged you.
Use it to restore your personal power.
Don’t judge me to feel better about yourself while I’m forced to look inferior. I don’t want your judgement nor your sympathy.
If you can’t be considerate, hold your opinions to yourself. Better still, attend to that part of you that’s obliged to criticize me.
Judging others creates distance between individuals, which leads to isolation. The world cries out for unity not separation.
You are not perfect and neither am I.
Bob Marley declared, “Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect — and I don’t live to be — but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean!”
You don’t realize what it’s like to be in my shoes. I’m not appealing for your encouragement, though I don’t need your insults or judgements.
I can get by because I’ve always managed. This is my life’s story and I live it to the best of my ability, on my own terms. I’m proud of my wounds, for each stride forward declares my resiliency.
You may think judging me reinforces your self-worth. But in actuality, it diminishes it because you establish yourself as a critic. The most influential people are connectors, leaders, and influencers. Step off the judgement treadmill and channel your opinions toward something that serves others, instead of hinders them.
The American scholar Brené Brown states, “I’ve studied judgment and I know we don’t judge people when we feel good about ourselves.”
You don’t know what it’s like to be empowered. I redirect your pain and encourage you to examine it, rather than misdirect it at others.
I am a born survivor, a fighter, and a victor because my experiences shaped me into the individual I am today.
I succeed because I conquer my adversities.
You judge me while asserting your power from a distance. I welcome you to experience my world; only then will you realize you have no right to criticize me. Carry my burden for a day to know what it’s like to be the weight of other people’s criticism.
My authority is bestowed by my mistakes and struggles. Life is my greatest teacher. She knows of my actions and even though my suffering is intense, a voice within beckons me to remain vigilant.
Yes, I’ve made mistakes that have caused others pain, but I’ve learnt from them, hoping to never repeat them.
My power lies not in being defeated, but in surmounting my hardships and soaring above each challenge. I am worthy because I endure while others retreat. So when you judge me at my worst, you are not seeing me at my best.
Author Gerald G. Jampolsky affirms, “Not judging others is another way of letting go of fear and experiencing Love. When we learn not to judge others — and totally accept them and not want to change them — we can simultaneously learn to accept ourselves.”
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.” ―Leo Tolstoy
Spend a day in my shoes to discover what it’s like to be knocked around until you can’t stand up.
See what it’s like to crawl your way through life.
While others thrive, I survive.
While you think it’s reasonable for you to judge me, you deflect your suffering because it’s difficult to deal with. There’s no power in sheltering behind your fears and insecurities. I face my demons whereas you cower from yours.
I urge you to empathize with others instead of criticize them. It enhances your capacity to identify and consider their feelings, rather than project your unresolved pain on them.
Your judgement robs me of my authority. It does not serve me to please others at the expense of minimising my self-worth. I refuse to tolerate your judgements and criticism.
Psychotherapist David Richo asserts, “If I notice myself judging, I simply witness it and come back to the moment and to what the person facing me is experiencing. If I notice that I am transferring my own fears onto the other, I tap myself on the shoulder, metaphorically, and redirect my attention to what the other is feeling.”
Don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes and encountered my pain. You cannot step into the arena as a critic without accompanying me in battle. I refuse to accept your pain because it’s yours to confront.
I am the commander of my destiny, my master and defender. I don’t need encouragement or advice on how to live my life. I’m prepared to make mistakes, to learn from them and grow from them.
I affirm to myself, “I stand in my power and know my true worth.”
Don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes with a nail in your foot. That’s the story of my past and my future, but I don’t cringe or protest. I accept my destiny and stride forward knowing I’m not alone.
Judgement is a tale told by a coward too afraid to face his darkness. Mine is embellished across my chest to remind me of my life’s purpose. While I may not be proud of it, I acknowledge it as my fate.
So stop judging me and create a new story that is yours to keep.